When we etch our glass, there are 2 main ways we do this. The most common method is with an automated sandblast machine. The second method is sandblasting by hand. Both have their advantages. When we run a piece of glass through our automated sandblast machine we can ensure a nearly perfect consistency throughout the piece. When a piece requires gradients or certain types of shading, sandblasting by hand is still the preffered method.
Both are great ways to make regular glass more private as well as create some wonderful patterns to enhance the beauty of ones home. Not only do we have an impressive gallery of designs, we can work with you and create a custom piece that expresses your personal style & taste.
Whether for doors, windows, dividers or many other possibilities, etching is an excellent way to accomplish this.
There are three main different sandblasting techniniques we will utilize as well.
Single stage sandblasting is when the piece of glass we are sandblasting gets sandblasted across its surface with one pass.
1) The design is cut into a sandblast resistant material we simply call "resist". The most common way we cut our patterns, is using a computerized plotter. We then apply the "resist" to the glass we want to sandblast.
2) We remove any areas of the design we would like to have etched.
3) We then run the piece through our automated sandblast machine to ensure a perfect uniformed appearance to the etching.
4) We finally remove the resist material & clean the piece using a pressure washer system.
Multi stage sandblasting is quite simply multiple passes across the same surface. Each pass with a different amount of pressure or velocity at which the sand travels when it strikes the glass.
1) We first start off with a drawing. Often we will computerize the file so we can cut a stencil out of a material that resists the sandblast with a very specialized plotter system. Some jobs are cut by hand as well.
2) We apply the "resist" on to the glass we want the design on.
3) We remove sections of the piece that we would like to have the most depth on first.
4) We sandblast the piece. Removing each stage as we progress, until we get the desired result. We can do these multi stage pieces using hand techniques or the automated sandblast machine. It largely depends on what effect we are trying to achieve.
Glass Carving is a very simular process to multi stage sandblasting because we still do multiple passes across the same surface of the glass. The final result is to sandblast some depth so the light will refract off the edges of the deeper etched parts causing a much more noticable contrast between stages.
The main difference in the process is that we decrease the speed and increase the pressure at which we sandblast. This causes a much greater depth in our final product. To accomplish this we must use a much heavier and more resistant "resist" as well.